Newt Clarifies His Remarks on Restricting Free Speech

The 1st Amendment Is Not a Suicide Pact: Blocking the Speech That Calls for Our Death

Here’s part of what I said: “Either before we lose a city, or, if we are truly stupid, after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that use every technology we can find to break up [terrorists’] capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech [protections] and to go after people who want to kill us — to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us.”

That’s all fine and good. But the internet doesn’t work that way. You as a presidential hopeful have no way to target those people and block their access.

Instead, I would suggest you use that technology to track down the people that use the internet in the first place. They will find a way to communicate some how, so you might as well spend your resources tracking them down rather than shutting them down.

We need a serious dialogue — not knee-jerk hysteria — about the 1st Amendment, what it protects and what it should not protect. Here are a few baseline principles to consider:

It is true, the 1st Amendment really only had political speech in mind. All others have been opened up because in the scheme of things, they don’t really matter anyways.

We should be allowed to close down websites that recruit suicide bombers and provide instructions to indiscriminately kill civilians by suicide or other means, or advocate killing people from the West or the destruction of Western civilization;

Allowed? By whom? There is no governing body whose jurisdiction covers the internet – and do we really want there to be? Certainly not the UN, and one country cannot control the internet without infringing on law abiding citizens right and essentially becoming Communist China – which does block the internet from its citizens.

We should propose a Geneva-like convention for fighting terrorism that makes very clear that those who would fight outside the rules of law, those who would use weapons of mass destruction and those who would target civilians are in fact subject to a totally different set of rules that allow us to protect civilization by defeating barbarism before it gains so much strength that it is truly horrendous. A subset of this convention should define the international rules of engagement on what activities will not be protected by free speech claims; and

Great! More One World Government talk. Come on Newt, you know better than to go down that road.

We need an expeditious review of current domestic law to see what changes can be made within the protections of the 1st Amendment to ensure that free speech protection claims are not used to protect the advocacy of terrorism, violent conduct or the killing of innocents.

Howabout we don’t even ponder the thought of restricting our rights in an attempt to hurt the terrorists?


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